September 16, 2015

Former Federal Grand Juror Sentenced to Probation for Leaking Sealed Grand Jury Information

PORTLAND, OR—Today, Lori Ann Cubit, 56, of Gresham, Oregon, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to one year of probation following her conviction of the misdemeanor crime of criminal contempt of court. As a condition of probation, Mrs. Cubit will be required to perform 100 hours of community service.

On December 30, 2013, a federal grand jury was presented with information related to the criminal activities of a violent Blood street gang involved in drug trafficking and other crimes in the greater Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. The evidence presented to the grand jury was the result of a year-long Metro Gang Task Force investigation which included the use of federal wiretaps to target the involved individuals. On December 31, 2013, the government learned through an informant that secret information regarding the grand jury proceedings had been disclosed within the community. The leaked information included the identities of people who had been criminally charged by the grand jury, the charges they faced and the existence and use of federal wiretaps and evidence derived from them. At the time of the disclosure, the indictments were under seal and not subject to disclosure. Due to the leak of information, a series of planned search warrants and arrests had to be canceled due to concerns over officer safety. One defendant fled the jurisdiction.

An investigation into the source of the leaked grand jury proceedings revealed that Mrs. Cubit, a former federal grand jury member, had disclosed the information to family members and others. From there, the information spread throughout the community.

On April 29, 2015, Mrs. Cubit pled guilty to one count of criminal contempt of court. In her plea agreement, Mrs. Cubit admitted that, on or about December 30, 2013, she knowingly disobeyed the order and commands of a Court of the United States and of U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty that she not to disclose any information relating to any matter occurring before the grand jury. She additionally admitted that she disclosed information from the grand jury on December 30, 2013, to unauthorized individuals, including evidence presented to the grand jury, the existence of federal wiretaps, the names of the defendants and the criminal charges they faced, all while the evidence presented and charging documents were still under seal and not subject to disclosure to the public.

Both before and during the sentencing hearing, Mrs. Cubit apologized for her actions.

“The rules governing grand jury proceedings are critically important to the integrity and safety of the investigative process and they must be followed,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “This case, unfortunately, highlights the serious consequences that can result from the unauthorized disclosure of criminal matters, even when it is not done with any malicious intent. We are grateful that we found out about the leak when we did so that no law enforcement officers were placed in danger as a result of Mrs. Cubit’s actions.”

This case was investigated by the Metro Gang Task Force (MGTF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin.